• AM 600 •
page updated October 1, 2001
Text prepared by
Timothy Kendall (Research Scientist,
(click on the image to enlarge)
of the extensive settlement remains we were finding under cemetery
AM E, it seemed logical to select AM 600 as the next large structure
to explore, since it lay immediately adjacent to this burial ground.
During my mapping of the visible buildings the previous December, I had
discovered, based on the distribution of their stone fragments, that AM
600 and AM 200 were built according to the same plan. The only
obvious difference between them seemed to be that AM 200 had formal stone
doorways on its north, south, and east walls, while AM 600 had them only
on its east wall. It also appeared that each building was symmetrical in
its halves. I could thus be reasonably sure that if we could recover
at least half of the plan of AM 600 this season (November 9-27, 2000),
this would allow us not only to restore its full plan but also that of
AM 200 with reasonable certainty.
We started clearing
the sand from the north end of AM 600 on and soon exposed a hard low mound
of melted mud-brick, much like that of AM 700. Localized excavation
around the shaft of one column over the next few days revealed that the
ancient floor level lay 1.12 m deep and that the columns, within this very
hard layer, remained standing to a height of two or three drums.
The upper parts of the columns had toppled over and were scattered nearby,
partly buried in the mud surface; their exposed elements were badly worn
by wind erosion. By sweeping the surface of the mud mound, we were
easily able to detect the lines of the original walls of the rooms and
their doorways. In some places the walls were made even more conspicuous
by the darker color of their mud. After clearing about 2/3 of the
surface of AM 600 and tracing its walls, we were able to reconstruct its
entire ground plan.
Each living room of AM 600 was connected to three internal rooms:
The rooms of these houses are buried in hard-packed dried mud to a depth of from 60 cm (at the perimeter) to 120 cm (at the center), and this made any digging inside the rooms extremely difficult. Nevertheless, with more time in the future, all the rooms could be cleared to floor level and many objects will doubtless still be found in situ. Hopefully we may even find well-preserved remnants of painted wall decoration. We were able to penetrate to the floor level in only one small area beside the standing shaft of the southeast column in Room 602. It was this trench that allowed us to establish the depth of the floor and restore the form of the complete column; it also allowed us to discover again evidence of the conflagration that seems to have overwhelmed the entire town. On the floor was a layer of ash and charcoal similar to that we had found in both AM 700 and in all the buildings observed under AM E. We were able to take ample carbon samples and will run these as soon as possible.
||AM600 Virtual World|
page created: September 29, 2001
page updated: October 1, 2001
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